Tomato plants offer ease of growth and an abundant harvest. One of the most popular garden vegetables grown, the tomato plant does suffer from a few common ailments that gardeners need to watch for.
1) Late Blight
The leaves of the tomato plant take on the appearance of being floppy and water soaked. They quickly begin to turn brown and brittle. Greenish black lesions will appear on the leafs surface and may spread to the stems of the plant.
Cool, wet weather is the leading cause of leaf blight to occur on tomato plants. Numerous fungicides are available that can safely treat the plant and help prevent further spread. Use according to the directions on the label.
2) Early Blight
The leaf of the tomato plant begins to turn yellow. As yellowing occurs widespread on the leafs surface, black irregular spots form. The spots appear to be a bullseye with a black center and ringed in yellow.
Early blight occurs during warm, wet weather. It can also occur from overhead irrigation causing the tomato plants leaves to become moist during periods of warm humidity. Treat the disease using fungicides.
3) Alternaria Alternata Canker
Alternaria canker causes large areas of the stem, leaves and even fruit to die. Brown spotting covers the surface of the plant. The leaf soon begins to crinkle and curl.
Caused from a fungus that lives in the soil, the disease quickly becomes airborne and spreads to the tomato plant. It especially afflicts plants that suffer injury during planting or cultivation. Prevent by using fungicide sprays.
4) Powdery Mildew
Powdery mildew occurs on the tomato plant when warm, wet weather is present. Overhead watering has been known to cause the fungus to occur. Lack of air circulation from over crowding can also cause the tomato plant to suffer form powdery mildew.
The leaves will begin to appear yellow with small gray spots. The fungus quickly kills the leaves of the plant if not controlled using sulfur sprays or powders.
5) Gray Leaf Spot
The underside of the leaf develops black and gray spots that are often ringed in yellow. The yellow spreads throughout the leaf as it dries out. Defoliation can occur if the disease is not promptly treated. The disease is normally spread from weeds. Use fungicides to treat.